By Helene von Bismarck
An in-depth research of serious Britain's coverage within the oil-rich Persian Gulf zone over the last years of British imperialism within the quarter, protecting the interval from the independence of Kuwait to the choice of the Wilson govt to withdraw from the Gulf.
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Extra info for British Policy in the Persian Gulf, 1961–1968: Conceptions of Informal Empire
105 Their oil reserves provided both states with important sources of income but could not be compared in any way to Kuwait’s resources. Qatar’s oil production in 1960 amounted to 8 million tons, which was a tenth of Kuwait’s output in the same year. 106 However, the picture in the Persian Gulf changed signiﬁcantly in 1958, when oil was ﬁrst discovered in commercial quantities off the coast of Abu Dhabi, followed by even greater ﬁndings on the mainland. 107 During the 1960s the Middle Eastern oil industry was controlled by seven international companies: British Petroleum (BP), Royal Dutch Shell, Gulf Oil, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Mobil, and Texaco.
E. 44 The extraordinarily close relationship that existed during the 1960s between Britain and the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was ofﬁcially based on two different treaties. The ﬁrst and more general agreement, dated 20 September 1951, was a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation which stressed the friendly relations between the two signing parties and their resolve to extend their commercial connections. It was the last of a series of comparable agreements that had been concluded between Britain and Oman in 1798, 1839, 1891, and 1939,45 but it had no formal effect on the sultanate’s sovereignty.
The Treaty of Perpetual Maritime Truce and the Exclusive Agreements restricted the sovereignty of the Gulf States with regard only to their external relations, whereas ofﬁcially the rights of the local rulers to conduct their own internal affairs remained unaffected. However, during the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century, the British developed two major exceptions to their rule of non-interference in the internal government of the Gulf States: the privilege of exercising extra-territorial jurisdiction in the Persian Gulf States and the agreements limiting the rights of the local rulers to grant oil concessions to foreign companies without Britain’s consent.
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